Vox Bulldog Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966)

Vox  Bulldog Solid Body Electric Guitar  (1966)

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Item # 8166
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Vox Bulldog Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1966), made in Recanti, Italy, serial # 267087, sunburst polyester finish, mahogany body, laminated maple neck with ebony fingerboard, black gig bag case.

The Vox V241 Bulldog guitar was one of the more quizzical instruments to emerge from the Thomas Organ operation, American distributors for the UK-based brand. The Bulldog was a US-only model, and owed nothing to any of JMI's original UK designs beyond shared pickups and hardware. It was quite obviously styled to capitalize on the popularity of Ventures model Mosrite guitar, a contemporary product of California.

The Ventures themselves were virtually unknown in the UK, but Thomas -- ever trend-jumping -- no doubt saw a marketing niche unfilled and commissioned Eko, their Italian factory, to whip up something similar. Oddly enough the resulting instrument is in many ways one of the best of the US Vox line, and certainly one of the solidest players.

The Bulldog features a body copied pretty directly from the early "side jack" Mosrite Ventures model (turned upside-down) with a "German curve" carved ledge to the top, bound top edge, and a vibrant polyester three-color sunburst finish. It differs from Semie Moseley's guitars in having three single coil Vox pickups, where stock Mosrites featured two wider-coil units. The wiring rig consists of a 3-way pickup switch, single volume and twin tone controls. The Vibrato is the typical Vox unit.

The bolt-on neck has an ebony fingerboard, bound and dot-inlaid with the typical truss rod adjustment at the body end. The vaguely "V"-shaped headstock is faced with a plastic laminate with a large "VOX" logo cut through, and the tuners are US-made Grover Sta-tites. With the three-pickup layout, thicker neck, and larger frets, the guitar's sound and feel are distinctive, even if the look is blatantly derivative!

The 1966 Vox "It's What's Happening" catalog introduced the V241 Bulldog and described it thus: "Ebony finger-board; nickel silver frets; two-way string damper; entire body and neck hand-bound; sunburst." The guitar's hybrid Mosrite/Vox styling stood out even among a sea of other sometimes eccentric Vox models, in a love-it-or-hate-it sort of way.

The 1966 US retail price was $399.90, which was on par with the authentic Mosrite and quite expensive for a solid-body at the time. It seems to have been a decent seller nonetheless, and if not one of the more original 1960s Vox-branded guitars is still a rather distinctive creation.
 
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 1/4 in. (3.2 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 25 in. (635 mm.). Width of nut is 1 5/8 in. (41 mm.).

This guitar remains in very nice all original condition -- there is some typical minor finish checking, as well as small dings and scrapes. The pickguard has shrunk up a bit but has only one small screw crack and one tip missing on the lower treble side. Everything including the oft-missing trem arm and even the mute assembly is intact; the mute foam is long gone but could be replaced if desired.

It has been recently refretted and is a very good-playing example. A cool, complete, and original example of this more unusual creation of the '60s Thomas Organ Vox brand, a very good-playing and sounding garage band classic! Excellent - Condition.